Dear Audrey Hepburn,

The A.V. Club lists your character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but I must disagree. According to a 2007 article by Nathan Rabin, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) is a character type that “exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Rabin coined the term to refer to characters like those played by Natalie Portman in Garden State and Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer. In Tiffany’s, Paul Varjak clearly fits the role of the young artist type who desperately needs an MPDG, but Holly Golightly is so much more than a stock character designed to fulfill a man’s needs. Your depiction of Holly employs the whimsical, spontaneous nature of  an MPDG to mask a deeper hunger to escape drab realities by finding emotional and financial stability. Holly’s very evident flaws make her more profound and understandable than the idealistic and carefree MPDGs in Elizabethtown and Bringing Up Baby, which both center on male protagonists and their desires to loosen up. Tiffany’s instead focuses on the dream girl herself, who needs the exact opposite of an MPDG – a perceptive and sensible young man – to rescue her by keeping her grounded. The infusion of the standard super-girly, quixotic MPDG with such depth is perhaps what makes Holly Golightly the most enduring and endearing of your characters. You imbue her with undeniable charm while making both her perfection and her weaknesses glamorous and unattainable; every guy wants to fix and protect her, and every girl can relate to and strive to be her.

Good night, Mun

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2 thoughts on “Dear Audrey Hepburn,

  1. I just came across your blog GOOD NIGHT, MUN, and I’m in love! Its clever premise of “letters” to legendary characters from classic movies really won me over. Admittedly, the print could be easier to read (luckily, my computer has a magnifying function), but otherwise, I was truly intrigued and charmed, especially by the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” profile and its unforgettable photo of Audrey Hepburn’s poignant meltdown after she finds out her beloved brother Fred is dead in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S. By all means, keep those awesome blog posts coming!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I’ll see what I can do about making my font bigger. In the meantime, I checked out your blog and I was impressed by your attention to detail and your sass. Looking forward to reading more!

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